by Wesley Anderson, DCH
It’s all so simple really. Eat fresh foods only. Eat a little less. Be a little more physically active. Most diets and weight loss programs work just fine, so why have so many people struggled with losing weight and keeping it off?
It’s because for many people there’s more to eating than satisfying hunger and providing the body with adequate nutrients and energy. Some people eat for other reasons such as boredom, or to mute unpleasant emotions, or to celebrate, or out of cravings or compulsive feelings, and when they do eat for those reasons it’s usually fattening foods that they choose. So it’s no wonder that they end up overweight or even obese.
Hypnosis can be very effective in helping someone change eating habits, and in eliminating compulsions. To begin with, it’s possible to change food preferences. Chocolate, fries, or pizza can just lose their luster. Using hypnosis it’s also possible to learn better strategies for responding to stress. After all, no one has ever solved a marital problem with a spoonful of rocky road, or frightened off a potential mugger by biting into a french fry.
Then there are the limiting beliefs. Hypnosis can also help uproot and replace those useless beliefs with positive, empowering beliefs. For example, the conviction that it’s possible to lose weight easily, permanently, and in a reasonable amount of time, is incredibly useful for gaining slimness, and reaching the target weight. This applies to exercise, too. Who’s going to exercise if they imagine it’s painful or unpleasant? Doesn’t it seem obvious that believing deep down that exercise is pleasant and effective for weight reduction will be more motivating? And, the best part is that with a new belief exercise will be more fun, even if it wasn’t before.
While exercise is crucial, for many so is just plain eating less. Does that mean going hungry? Not at all. With hypnosis it’s possible to feel full, and satisfied with less food. Satisfaction is, after all, a subjective matter, and with hypnosis it’s possible to always feel satisfied, and even full, with smaller amounts of nutritious foods.
It might be useful at this point to define hypnosis. Hypnosis is a natural state of mind, familiar to all of us who have absent mindedly driven past our exit on the expressway, or been so caught up in a movie that we didn’t notice anything going on around us. The great discovery about hypnosis was that when someone is in hypnosis, they can change a habit, adopt a new a belief, or control bodily responses like pain, or allergies. By now, it’s undoubtedly starting to become obvious that contrary to a popular misconception, hypnosis actually allows the hypnotized person to have more control over their life and habits. It’s that ability to make a complete, easy, and quick change in a habit or belief that makes hypnotherapy so attractive when it comes to making permanent changes in lifestyle for those who are determined to control their eating, maintain their motivation to exercise, or wholeheartedly pursue any important goal.
What might a client expect in a first hypnotherapy session? First the hypnotherapist will make sure that the client is at ease by conversationally establishing rapport, and sharing a little information about hypnosis, and then the hypnotherapist will gather information by asking questions about the client’s goals. Once the hypnotherapist has the necessary information it’s time to begin the formal hypnotic induction. The client, who will be seated in a recliner typically, will be asked to close the eyes, and relax. The hypnotherapist begins speaking in a soothing voice, which is usually slower and lower in pitch than the normal speaking voice. This begins to set the stage with the unconscious mind of the client for something different to happen, and separates the hypnotic situation from normal conversational interaction.
A common induction technique is a “progressive relaxation” in which the client is directed to imagine a wave of relaxation moving through the body beginning at the head, moving down into the facial muscles, neck, chest, and so on. Once in trance, the hypnotherapist gives direct and indirect suggestions to the client to make the necessary changes to accomplish the desired outcome. While in trance the client is aware of what is being said to them, can choose to accept or reject any suggestion, and will usually remember what happened during the session, although spontaneous amnesia for a session is fairly common. It frequently surprises many to learn that someone in trance does not necessarily have any particular feelings of being “tranced out”. Hypnosis is similar to the mental states of common experiences like driving past an expressway exit, as mentioned earlier. We don’t feel tranced out then, even though our minds are “somewhere else”.
The body does not distinguish between imagination and reality, which is one of the reasons why hypnosis works. A good example of this is when we’re watching a movie and jump when something sudden happens on the screen. We’re watching imaginary events, mere projected pictures and recorded sounds, but our body reacts with a startle response. The state of hypnosis amplifies our responses to imagery and imagination. So when you go into a trance, the imagination can be used to intensify any feeling or thought, and through the suggestive guidance of a hypnotherapist attach it to an internal cue, like a word, image, or feeling. The end result is that we can effortlessly begin to work out regularly, feel more satisfied while eating less food, or respond to stress in a healthy effective way.
So when we are eating less while feeling more satisfied, believing we can do it, finding ourselves enjoying a bit more physical activity, and fully committed to making it happen will we lose weight, gain slenderness, and be happier? Yes, it’s that simple. And, hypnosis can make it that easy, too.
Find out about the HypnoSlim Weight Control Program.